The Murrumbidgee River is a vital community asset and the recommendations outlined in the 2010 Riverside Masterplan are arguably the most important to the city’s culture and social fabric.
The Riverside strategic master plan was developed in 2010 and Council committed over $1M to undertake landscaping and amenity improvements to the Wagga Beach area as part of stage 1. The improvements demonstrated the strong demand for more quality open spaces and evidenced the community’s desire to reconnect and utilise the river. Since its completion the space has been activated by a number of successful community events and gained very positive feedback from both residents and visitors to the city. For example, Borambola Wines hosted the Cork and Fork Festival at the beach area following the completion of stage 1 and attracted strong, vibrant crowds of approximately 4,000 people.
Council has since taken important steps to enable further implementation of the Master Plan, resolving to end the Wagga Beach Caravan Park lease in 2019. The Caravan Park site is identified as under-utilised land due to its proximity to the central business area and can be better transformed into a large community space used for general recreation, festivals and events on a village green.
Stage 2 of the project has the potential to feature commercial opportunities for cafes and restaurants, improve pedestrian accessibility from the central business area across Tarcutta Street and strengthen the precincts appeal to both the community and visitors to the city.
Committee 4 Wagga members have identified festivals and events as the most important cultural activity in the city. Currently, events such as Wagga Live, Gears and Beers, Fusion and the Wagga Food and Wine Festival have the capacity to grow and attract more visitors however the space available in the civic centre is restrictive and expensive to manage.
Detailed designs and planning have currently not been undertaken and the project remains unfunded. High priority must be given to the Riverside project to ensure it is shovel ready when the caravan park site is vacated in 2019 and partner funding from State and Federal Government can be secured.
Over 4,000 people attended the Cork and Fork event at the beach immediately following the stage 1 project.
Cost Estimate: Yes
Wagga Wagga City Council
Committee 4 Wagga
Commit to planning and funding to ensure stage 2 of the Riverside Master Plan can commence in 2019